As 2017 wound down to its unlamented end, President Trump announced that the US embassy in Israel would be moved to Jerusalem, a holy site for 3 Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
The move is almost universally considered to be a sudden gift to Islamic extremists, who immediately cast it as one of many unprovoked attacks in a continuing clash of civilizations.
Early this week, we linked to a well considered post by David Anderson at The Moderate Voice. He suggests that assigning blame or credit to an American “Israel lobby” is a mistake.
Responsibility rests with Christians.
Infidel753, who writes for his own site, responds. He begins by complimenting a good post, then provides a comment that is better.
Good post. Ironically, the growth of violent Islamic extremism in the Middle East since the 1990s, like the growth of militant Christian fundamentalism in the US since the 1970s, is essentially a conservative reaction to increasing secularism in both societies, especially among the younger generation. In both cases the religious hard-liners, alarmed at seeing “their” people turning away from age-old traditional religious taboos and prejudices, reacted with an all-out effort to re-assert control and re-impose the old ways.
The shift of Middle Eastern terrorism from a nationalist campaign focused on territory to a religious jihad expressing age-old hatred for non-Muslims in general and Jews in particular, has made it both more intransigent and also, because it has become resistant to compromise, less likely to succeed. Nationalists can sometimes reach compromises with fellow nationalists in the opposing nation, but people who believe they’re doing God’s will don’t compromise.
The two reactionary religious extremist movements, in the US and in the Middle East, continue to lash out at each other, provoke each other, feed each other. Trump’s Jerusalem move, the “Muslim ban”, and the various ill-considered military operations in Muslim countries (such as the Iraq invasion) help jihadists to demonize the US in the eyes of more mainstream Muslims. Jihadist terrorist attacks and persecution of Christian minorities in the Middle East help American fundamentalists to demonize Islam. The cycle will probably continue, at varying degrees of intensity, until advancing secularism (in both regions) reduces the extremists to impotence and/or moderates regain firm political control.